Sometimes I don’t have words. The past week has left both my heart and my stomach full.
I love the people in my life. They do my heart and soul good. There is an ease to spending time with them, no matter how long since our last visit that is unbelievably satisfying. I just wish they all weren’t so far away. I spent the past few days in Chicago (after spending a few days with Scott in Florida) with my dear friends Jenny and Sayan.
They love food as much as I do. I was called to Chicago for very important bridesmaid duties, which just happened to include both a dinner tasting Spiaggia (and had that butternut squash pasta that I tried to replicate here) as well a dessert tasting. And Jenny threw in a 5-course tasting menu with wine pairings at Takashi, for no particular reason. Except that we both love food and needed to have a deep philosophical conversation about marriage. So perhaps its no surprise that we would end the evenings on the couch with a glass of wine watching House Hunters. (Note: six years ago, you could find us in a similar situation only we’d be watching Sex in the City. Does that mean anything?)
When I left Minneapolis, we were in the midst of an Indian summer and when I returned, the temperatures dropped and the weathermen have been talking about snowflakes in the forecast. This does not do my heart good. Before I left for my trip I made a huge pot of Curried Pumpkin Soup and tucked it away in my freezer, awaiting my return. Warm and toasty, bright and beautiful – I was glad to return home for the soup, if not for the weather.
Curried Pumpkin Soup********** 1 small pie pumpkin 2 tablespoons butter 1 onion, finely chopped 3 large garlic cloves 2 tablespoons minced ginger 3 cups chicken stock 2 teaspoons cumin 1 teaspoon coriander 1/4 teaspoon cardamom 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon sweet curry powder 3 cups chicken stock 1 – 14 ounce can coconut milk **********
Halve pumpkin and remove seeds. Place cut side down in a casserole dish and fill with 1/2 inch of water. Roast at 350º for about an hour and a half.
Melt butter in a large stock pot. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another minute or two. Season with cumin, coriander, cardamom, red pepper flakes, salt and curry powder. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Scoop out roasted pumpkin and add to soup. Transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return soup to a simmer and add the coconut milk, stirring until incorporated.